Report: 49ers’ DC DeMeco Ryans named new HC of the Houston Texans

Jan 31, 2023, 1:52 PM | Updated: 2:58 pm

After weeks of speculation, the Houston Texans have finally named DeMeco Ryans as their new head coach.

The news was reported Tuesday by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 49ers’ defensive coordinator will ink a lucrative six-year deal with the Houston franchise to revamp a depleted roster after having the second-worst record in the NFL in 2022.

Ryans and the Texans will not have their choice of top-tier quarterbacks, but with a slew of options, both coach and franchise hope to strike gold with the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft.

Ryans, 38, had a successful first interview with the Texans earlier in the month, narrowing down his options to Houston and the Denver Broncos after that. Earlier this week, he told the Broncos he wasn’t interested in the position. Which meant all signs were pointing to Ryans returning to Texas as a head coach this offseason.

DeMeco Ryans was drafted by the Houston Texans in 2006, producing two Pro Bowl years in H-Town. One of the leaders of the locker room, the former linebacker recorded 636 combined tackles, 8.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and two interceptions during his six years in Houston.

A fan favorite, Ryans’s own family has ties to the area, including his wife, Jamila, being from Houston herself.

A little bit of controversy followed, with reports that the Denver Broncos tried to lure Ryans away Tuesday. Instead of being persuaded, Ryans recommitted to Houston that he would be taking the HC position. The Broncos hired Sean Payton after that.

Only two years since taking the defensive coordinator position with the 49ers, Ryans’ denature comes with a heavy heart. As soon as the NFC Championship concluded, his players started to realize it was the beginning of the end for him in the Bay.

“We came into this thing together,”49ers’ linebacker Fred Warner said postgame Sunday. “I owe everything to him. He’s the reason I’m the player I am today. “He’s fully deserving to go on and be a head coach. It hit hard today, for sure.”

Coming on as a quality control coach in 2017, 49ers’ coach Kyle Shanahan grew fondly of Ryans over the years together in Northern California. 2022 was his best season yet, shaping the 49ers’ defense into the best unit in football, allowing the least amount of yards and points during the regular season.

San Francisco will also receive a compensatory third-round pick in the 2025 draft for Ryans’s move to Houston, due to the Rooney Rules.

In wake of his new venture, the 49ers will interview former DC Vic Fangio, former interim head coach Steve Wilks and Commanders’ defensive backs coach Chris Harris for their vacant DC position.


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